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Update on our services

2020 brought about huge new challenges for deaf children, young people and their families. As an organisation we had to adapt and change the way we deliver much of our work. Some of our services and programmes have moved online and we’ve used new digital platforms and tools to ensure we continue to reach and support new and existing families. These adaptations are very cost effective at a time when there is an uncertain economic outlook and ongoing lockdowns limit the fundraising opportunities we have. In addition, they also help us reach many more deaf children and their families than ever before.

This all led us to review our offer and areas of focus for our 1-1 advice and guidance casework. We identified that at this time our work to support the educational outcomes for deaf children and young people must be our primary focus, while continuing to provide advice and guidance in other areas specific to deaf children such as language and communication, health and social care. We will focus our 1-1 casework and redefine our support in other areas to ensure we continue to reach a wide audience and meet the needs of the most vulnerable families.

For welfare benefits we will continue to provide high quality information, advice and guidance through our website, on-line group sessions and Helpline. We will expand our welfare benefits offer and increase the delivery to groups both digitally and face to face (when circumstances allow) and we will also be investing in self-help resources and developing bookable advice sessions for families. This will allow us to retain capacity to provide some welfare benefits 1-1 casework for the most vulnerable families.

Our Children and Families Support Officers will now be known as Advice and Guidance Officers.

They will continue to provide advice and guidance on a range of topics including education, communication, social care, discrimination, independence and welfare benefits.

They will continue to work with individuals and families helping them to feel confident when making decisions. They will do this remotely using technology like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and FaceTime or when needed they may meet with a family in person.

You may also see them in settings such as meetings, events, schools, local Deaf Children’s Society events and at audiology clinics.

They will provide 1-1 advice and guidance with initial/first DLA claims for the most vulnerable families.

I hope you can appreciate the reasons why we felt it is necessary to move in this new direction and that we can continue to work together to best support the needs of deaf children, young people and their families in the future.

If you have any questions or comments about this update please send them to: [email protected]

Do you need free independent advice? Contact the Helpline

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